What are the client, organisational and employee-related outcomes of high quality leadership in the allied health professions? A scoping review

Janice McKeever, Ted Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Leadership is viewed as the panacea the complex problems in modern health care where chronic disease, contracting budgets and rising consumer expectation are challenging care provision. As the second largest workforce in Australia, Allied Health Professionals (AHP) are core contributors to health teams however they are largely absent from leadership positions and there is little evidence of their impact on client outcomes.

Aim: A scoping review was carried out to synthesise evidence on the client, organisational and employee-related outcomes of high quality leadership in Allied Health.

Method: A search of grey literature, peer and non-peer reviewed literature was undertaken using Embase, Emcare, SCOPUS and Psychinfo from 2010-2017. Data were sourced from journals, government reports, conference presentations and other grey literature. The reference list of key articles were hand searched for relevant research.

Results: A total of 5880 articles were identified and after screening 35 articles were included for in depth review. Leadership contributed towards positive outcomes in all three domains and had influence across professional groups and services. Leaders are highly valued and respected by their teams. Allied Health leaders did not feature in any of the articles and AHP were the focus of only seven studies. The majority of articles were conference papers or case reviews that provided little robust data making it difficult to draw substantive conclusions on the outcome of AHP leadership.

Conclusion: There was a lack of robust data specific to AHP leaders. Future research should attempt to gather evidence of the outcomes of AHP leadership through qualitative and quantitative means to substantiate the anecdotal evidence for high quality AHP leaders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Health Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2019


  • allied health
  • leadership
  • outcomes

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